I happened to be in a store in Virginia who had received a handful of AR-15s and had them out for sale. I’m not a black gun kinda guy, so I only know what a handful are really worth. They had a coupled of Stag Arms rifles and going by the website they were Model 3. The price was something like $1500-1600 which seemed reasonable enough based on the current buying climate. The MSRP is $895 for that rifle so somebody is making bank. Even if it happened to be a Model 2T the MSRP is only $1,130 so IMO the store was gouging. I had my suspicions when they said their PMags were $40 each and then the .223 on the shelf was $16 per 20. What’s really sad is while we were standing there talking they mentioned how others were gouging. Now isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?
I don’t mind a shop making a profit. There are stores who have never had great prices and from what I have heard they have not raised their prices during this time of high demand and low supply. If you are getting the merchandise at the same cost as before the current conditions and have raised your prices then you are gouging. Now if your costs have increased and you are passing along the incremental costs then you are not gouging. I know shops see the prices occurring on auction sites and figure they better get their piece of the pie, but if you are artificially inflating the price it doesn’t do any of us any good. I realize someone might buy that $900 firearm and go throw it on an auction site for $1500, but if that is what the shop is trying to stop, just go put it on the auction site yourself. No one will fault you for selling something in that manner. But just to drive up the cost because you can isn’t going to bring me back in to see you when things calm back down.
Bottom line, if you gouge many people will not forget you did.
Note: This type of gouging is not illegal, even if there was a declared state of emergency. 😉